Incomplete Drawings

I sometimes struggle with the need for completion in my drawings. It used to be that I would not feel like a drawing was complete unless I covered every millimeter of my drawing surface with graphite.

Nowadays, not so much.



When I only drew on beautiful, pristine papers, [my favorite being Stonehenge by the way] I felt like everything I drew needed a context; a place to be. However, when I started drawing on the old books, and wanted to have their patina enter into the drawing, I began to worry much less about defining everything.

Now that I have worked that way for several years I find it is easier to leave some details behind. Drawings, as in poker, can benefit from the ability of the artist to know when to fold.

So how much detail is too much? I know that sometimes I am able to fully plan a drawing. That's OK, I guess, but I also try to remain open to the possibility some other direction may occur during the course of a piece.

Take this drawing for example. I had planned a full drawing here, but after I completed her face, I thought she was so beautiful that it would diminish her if I continued. I'm glad I stopped.

So does that mean I always know when to stop? Of course not. But with time and a better sense of patience, I find I am increasingly satisfied with an incomplete drawing.

Special thanks to Veretta at the big box home improvement store where I used to work for allowing me to draw her portrait.